Planes, Trains, and Italian Taxicabs

by on January 14th, 2015
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Smooth Beginning

I was booked on a flight from Miami to Paris, Paris to Pisa, Italy in February. I though, “Post holiday travel, what could go wrong?” I should have asked myself, what could go right.

Based on my last fight, with the same major national airline that will remain nameless, I suspect all would not be well when I reach Paris. The flight was great, right up to the point where I was whisked away by airline authorities (along with a dozen other passengers) to clear customs and security. It was at that moment I knew this would be a really long trip to my final destination.

The Delay

After clearing the first hurdles, I sat in the Paris terminal having just missed my connection to Pisa by only 45 minutes. Fortunately, there was a German research scientist and a Russian research scientist waiting for the next connection to Pisa as well. After several hours of talking about cardio research, we finally boarded our flight out of Paris.

Once I arrived in Pisa, I said good bye to my new acquaintances and turned on my phone. In the midst of claiming my bags, I received several text messages, that last one was the one I dreaded most. My ride from Pisa had already left and I was directed to ride the train to nearest station in Cinque Terre and then catch a cab to the hotel.

23 Hours and Counting

The train ride was uneventful to town near my hotel. The taxicab ride from the station to the hotel was harrowing. Between the road construction, the twists and turns the ride was less than ideal. Since I had already been on the road for hours and hadn’t eaten well throughout the day, I was ready to end the journey by the time I dragged my bags up to the hotel lobby.

Once in my room, I placed my suitcases on the floor and headed right back down to the lobby. I joined my co-workers for a seafood dinner and some casual conversation. All told, I spent over 24 hours just in travel, than goodness I didn’t need to be bright and cheery until the next day when my meeting started for the week.


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